Frank Ocean is known for being pretty private, but in the last few months he’s been making an effort to open up. Last year, he made his Instagram account public and in January he was interviewed by GQ. Today, a new interview with Ocean was published by Gayletter for the newsletter-turned-magazine’s 10th issue. He addresses that privacy (mis)conception and a whole lot more in the lengthy talk.
“I think the whole idea of me as a recluse is absurd ’cause I’m in the streets like all the time,” he said. “I’m outside all the time, I’m traveling the world all the time. It’s funny to me that that’s the perception, but I understand what people mean by it in this new paradigm.”
He says “the social media thing is kind of amped up,” continuing: “One could argue that people don’t actually get information more than half the time. They browse information. I don’t know if they really ingest it.”
He doesn’t say anything too surprising — Ocean’s been spending a lot of time in the studio, as always — but the candid piece is still a great read with an artist that often isn’t as forthcoming. He talks about some of the TV he’s been watching — Chef’s Table, Handmaid’s Tale, Grown-ish — and says that he’s seen a few episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race, but doesn’t “really keep up with it like I should.” He does, however, say that: “Of all the talent shows on TV, that would be the most likely” for him to appear as a guest judge on.
He also talks about his history with and interest in queer art and how that influenced his Boys Don’t Cry magazine, and how working on that magazine in turn helped distract him from his frustrations with the music business. “Well, fucking with major music companies, you’re going to be…deflowered,” he said. “Anytime you get into the business side of the arts, there has to be some degree of objectification or commodification that you’re comfortable with, of yourself and of your work.”
Ocean goes on to talk about his collaboration process and writing for other artists and a whole lot more. He clears up some small curiosities, like that the gay bar referenced in Blonde’s “Good Guy” is Hell’s Kitchen haunt Boxers, that he still wants to go to college, and that despite what Wikipedia says, he’s not 5’10” — he’s actually 6’1″. “Listen, we have to correct the kids on my height,” he says. “It’s really affecting my future, blocking my shine.”
Check out the full interview here.